Thursday, 10 July 2014

We Don't Need No Education

Cragganmore 12 - 40%

About bloody time

Ridiculously, I have never (until now) tried this whisky. Don't ask me how. Despite being a good few years and 550+ Stumbles into my whisky education, clearly I was playing hookey the day they taught 'Introductory Speyside 101'. It's bloody well embarrassing.

It's not like I've never heard of Cragganmore. It's the Speyside representative in Diageo's Classic Malts of Scotland range, for heaven's sake, and I was virtually weaned onto its five counterparts. To make matters worse, I've tried the Cragganmore DE and I'm talking more than one vintage here. I imagine it's the dramming equivalent of running before you can walk. Mercifully, a great whisky warrior appeared from the mists of the Twittersphere to lower a rope into my pit of ignorance, thereby relieving me of my shame.

Many thanks to Scott Saunders for the sample.

Straight away there's an aroma of light sherry followed by malt and crisp apple. Milk chocolate makes an appearance and there's an ever-so-subtle wisp of marzipan. A few mintues un the glass produces a creamy beurre noisette note.

Very gentle on the arrival and the mouthfeel is a little thin but it soon starts to flex its muscles as a few moments on the tongue brings hints of ginger and tobacco. A moment more and creamy milk chocolate appears with subtle toffee.

Moderate in length and mildly warming. Not particularly interesting and a little 'one-note' for my liking but certainly not bad. The Cragganmore '93 DE had an outrageously long finish (admittedly, it had bugger all up front), so I must say that I find this a little disappointing in comparison.

Yes, it's an entry-level Speyside so I wasn't expecting to be swept away by it, although I've tried cheaper, less well-known Speysiders that are head and shoulders above this. Very drinkable but otherwise a bit 'meh'.

Grade: C
Not quite sure how this edged out Mortlach to be Diageo's "Classic Malt" for Speyside. I'd go for the DE every time.

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